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Monday 27 January 2020
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Single mom inspires Believe Christmas story

Chelsea Fenson plays It's Beginning to look a Lot Like Christmas at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne, Port of Spain.
 - Gary Cardinez
Chelsea Fenson plays It's Beginning to look a Lot Like Christmas at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne, Port of Spain. - Gary Cardinez

GARY CARDINEZ

SEVERAL members of the cast and crew of Believe – The Story of Christmas gave a preview of the annual concert recently at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne, Port of Spain to the media and sponsors’ representatives.

In explaining the message behind the concert, creative director John Thomas told the gathering about his struggles growing up without a father,

“But my mother taught us to believe. She gave us the beautiful gift of belief.”

Believe will feature popular classics and Christmas music, including traditional settings and modern arrangements.

As cast members got into the preview performances, Arora Tardieau opened with When a Child is Born. She was followed by Clarice Beeput who received a standing ovation for her thrilling O Holy Night.

David Frank - Gary Cardinez

Members of the audience expressed their appreciation with sustained applause for this singer, who took first place in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) in music.

Beeput was a hard act to follow but gospel singer Mahalia Pierre came on stage and caused a stir with her Trini version of the Christmas Song, very reminiscent of Baron’s Come Go. She was followed by Candice Caton.

Instrumentalists Chelsea Fenson (cello) and David Frank (violin) also gave very good performances which earned them both a lusty round of applause.

But the night belonged to Mya Scott for her rendition of the local classic Ribbons. Scott held her audience in awe with her improvisation on the melody.

Patron of the Lady Hochoy Home, Zalayhar Hassanali was all smiles while Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambarath and his wife, Camille, applauded lustily.

Part proceeds of the concert will go to assist the Lady Hochoy Home.

John Thomas and Lesley Lewis-Alleyne - Gary Cardinez

Believe – The Story of Christmas is being staged with the help of sponsors and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. Thomas thanked the sponsors for coming on board with the fifth edition of the production, including its platinum sponsor the Shanghai Construction Company.

Also at the preview, Port of Spain mayor Joel Martinez welcomed the event to the city. He said it revives the Christmas spirit of the people of the city.

Howard Sabga, president of the Lady Hochoy Home, said he was grateful to Thomas for making the home a recipient of part proceeds of Believe.

Daniel Davis, who represented the Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, said Believe was an easy sell and the ministry had no problem in being a part of the production. The event is under the patronage of the minister, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

Tricia Lee Kelshall, Denyse Plummer, Nikita Gadsby, Mya Scott and Mahalia Pierre perform at the preview of Believe the Christmas Story. - Gary Cardinez

Believe will also feature The Eastern Chorale, St Joseph's Convent Choir of Port of Spain, the Symphony of Saints (CIC) and the Scholastic Academy Chorale, alongside animation from the Karline Brathwaite Dance Company, Kevon Carter, LA Rose, Johanna Chuckaree, Justin Zephyrine, Debbie Nahous, Alicia Jaggasar, Lesley Lewis and Cecilia Salazar.

In wrapping up the preview performance Thomas and Lesley Lewis-Alleyne did a duet before the entire cast came on stage for the finale, including Denyse Plummer, Tricia Lee Kelshall and Nikita Gadsby.

Believe – The Story of Christmas comes off at Queen’s Hall, St Ann's, on December 21 at 7.30 pm and December 22 at 1.30 pm and 6 pm.

Tickets are available at Queen's Hall Box Office and at malls. For more info: 781-2015.

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